Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.82, No.4, 776-781, 2004
Analysis of solvent-diluted bitumen from oil sands froth treatment using NIR spectroscopy
Process control and optimization of bitumen froth treatment during oil sands processing require rapid analysis of asphaltene content in bitumen, solvent-to-bitumen ratio (S/B), and the density of solvent-diluted bitumen. NIR spectroscopy was employed to meet this requirement. The NIR system comprised a spectrometer with no moving parts coupled with a double-pass transflectance probe via a fiber-optic cable. Quantitative calibration models were established using partial least-squares regression in latent variables. The standard errors of calibration were 0.20 wt% for 0 to 20 wt% asphaltenes in bitumen, 1.1 wt% for 20 to 100 wt% asphaltenes in bitumen, 0.1 for S/B of solvent-diluted bitumen, and 0.0017 g/mL for density of solvent-diluted bitumen. It was shown that the process conditions could be monitored through the spectral scores from principal component analysis.